Universal Wins Bidding War for Stephen King’s ‘The Tommyknockers’

Universal has won a heated bidding war for “Tommyknockers,” a feature film based on Stephen King’s 1987 sci-fi horror novel.

James Wan, who is in post-production on “Aquaman” and produces “The Conjuring” franchise, will produce through his Atomic Monster banner with an eye to direct.

Michael Clear, Roy Lee and Jon Berg will produce through Vertigo Entertainment along with Larry Sanitsky, who executive produced the hit 1993 ABC miniseries based on the book.

Also Read: No ‘Aquaman’ Trailer Yet? Director James Wan Says He’s the Reason Why

Universal beat out aggressive bids from Sony and Netflix.

“The Tommyknockers” is about the residents of Haven, Maine, who are effected by a metal object that turns out to be an extension of a long-buried alien spacecraft. Once it’s exposed, the spacecraft releases an invisible gas into the atmosphere that gradually transforms people into beings similar to the alien visitors.

Jimmy Smits and Marg Helgenberger starred in the two-part 1993 ABC miniseries.

Deadline first reported the news.

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Universal has won a heated bidding war for “Tommyknockers,” a feature film based on Stephen King’s 1987 sci-fi horror novel.

James Wan, who is in post-production on “Aquaman” and produces “The Conjuring” franchise, will produce through his Atomic Monster banner with an eye to direct.

Michael Clear, Roy Lee and Jon Berg will produce through Vertigo Entertainment along with Larry Sanitsky, who executive produced the hit 1993 ABC miniseries based on the book.

Universal beat out aggressive bids from Sony and Netflix.

“The Tommyknockers” is about the residents of Haven, Maine, who are effected by a metal object that turns out to be an extension of a long-buried alien spacecraft. Once it’s exposed, the spacecraft releases an invisible gas into the atmosphere that gradually transforms people into beings similar to the alien visitors.

Jimmy Smits and Marg Helgenberger starred in the two-part 1993 ABC miniseries.

Deadline first reported the news.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Stephen King 'Maybe' Agrees With Steven Spielberg About Their 'Spiritual Connection'

Stephen King Gives Apology ('If One Is Necessary') for Mocking Republicans in Train Wreck

Paramount Picks Directors for Remake of Stephen King's 'Pet Sematary'

Michelle Pfeiffer ‘Scarface’ Weight Question Draws Boos at Panel

During Thursday night’s 35th anniversary screening of “Scarface” at the Tribeca Film Festival, moderator Jesse Kornbluth drew boos from the audience for asking Michelle Pfeiffer how much she weighed while filming the 1983 cult-classic gangster movie.

“As the father of a daughter, I’m concerned with body image,” Kornbluth asked Pfeiffer. “[During] the preparation for this film, what did you weigh?” Kornbluth was immediately booed prompting him to reply “this is not the question you think it is.”

“Well, okay. I don’t know,” responded Pfeiffer. “But I was playing a cocaine addict, which was part of the physicality of the part, which you have to consider.”

Also Read: ‘Scarface’: Mexican-Born Writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer Tapped to Rewrite Universal’s Gangster Reboot (Exclusive)

“As the shoot went on, I tried to time it so I became more and more emaciated. The problem is, the movie went six months and the climactic scene kept getting delayed,” added Pfeiffer. “The crew kept bringing me bagels because they were so worried about me.”

Kornbluth did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Friday and defended his question in a statement provided to TheWrap.

“It is true that a gentleman should never ask a woman about her weight. But that was not my question. It is a comment on the knee-jerk political correctness of our time that no one would be shocked if you asked Robert De Niro about the weight gain required for his role in ‘Raging Bull’ but you get booed — not by many, but by a vocal few — for asking Michelle Pfeiffer about the physical two-dimensionality required for her to play a cocaine freak in ‘Scarface.’”

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During Thursday night’s 35th anniversary screening of “Scarface” at the Tribeca Film Festival, moderator Jesse Kornbluth drew boos from the audience for asking Michelle Pfeiffer how much she weighed while filming the 1983 cult-classic gangster movie.

“As the father of a daughter, I’m concerned with body image,” Kornbluth asked Pfeiffer. “[During] the preparation for this film, what did you weigh?” Kornbluth was immediately booed prompting him to reply “this is not the question you think it is.”

“Well, okay. I don’t know,” responded Pfeiffer. “But I was playing a cocaine addict, which was part of the physicality of the part, which you have to consider.”

“As the shoot went on, I tried to time it so I became more and more emaciated. The problem is, the movie went six months and the climactic scene kept getting delayed,” added Pfeiffer. “The crew kept bringing me bagels because they were so worried about me.”

Kornbluth did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Friday and defended his question in a statement provided to TheWrap.

“It is true that a gentleman should never ask a woman about her weight. But that was not my question. It is a comment on the knee-jerk political correctness of our time that no one would be shocked if you asked Robert De Niro about the weight gain required for his role in ‘Raging Bull’ but you get booed — not by many, but by a vocal few — for asking Michelle Pfeiffer about the physical two-dimensionality required for her to play a cocaine freak in ‘Scarface.'”

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Nee Brothers to Direct ‘Masters of the Universe’ For Sony

Aaron and Adam Nee have been tapped by Sony Pictures and Mattel to direct “Masters of the Universe,” an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.

Sony has set “Masters of the Universe” to be released on Dec. 18, 2019. The project is written by David S. Goyer, who is also an executive producer.

Set on the planet Eternia, the story follows a warrior named Prince Adam who turns into the heroic He-Man and battles a villain named Skeletor out to conquer Castle Grayskull.

Also Read: ‘Masters of the Universe’ Gets Release Date, Starts Search for Director

The “He-Man” franchise began as a successful toy line from Mattel and was turned into a cult hit kids’ TV series in 1983. Four years later, the series was turned into a live-action film starring Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella as his nemesis, Skeletor.

The film is being produced by Escape Artists principals Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch, along with DeVon Franklin. Mattel is also involved with the movie, as its execs Julia Pistor and David Voss will executive produce on behalf of the company. Sony exec Matthew Milam will oversee the project for the studio.

The Nee brothers are represented by CAA.

Variety first reported the news.

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Aaron and Adam Nee have been tapped by Sony Pictures and Mattel to direct “Masters of the Universe,” an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.

Sony has set “Masters of the Universe” to be released on Dec. 18, 2019. The project is written by David S. Goyer, who is also an executive producer.

Set on the planet Eternia, the story follows a warrior named Prince Adam who turns into the heroic He-Man and battles a villain named Skeletor out to conquer Castle Grayskull.

The “He-Man” franchise began as a successful toy line from Mattel and was turned into a cult hit kids’ TV series in 1983. Four years later, the series was turned into a live-action film starring Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella as his nemesis, Skeletor.

The film is being produced by Escape Artists principals Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch, along with DeVon Franklin. Mattel is also involved with the movie, as its execs Julia Pistor and David Voss will executive produce on behalf of the company. Sony exec Matthew Milam will oversee the project for the studio.

The Nee brothers are represented by CAA.

Variety first reported the news.

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David S. Goyer in Talks to Direct He-Man Film 'Masters of the Universe' for Sony (Exclusive)

'Son of Zorn': Watch Cartoon He-Man Introduce Alangulon to 'Stone of Sight' (Exclusive Video)

'SNL' Host Chris Pratt Is He-Man, Parodies 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Success in Marvel Trailer (Video)

F Gary Gray to Direct Live-Action ‘MASK’ for Paramount and Hasbro

F. Gary Gray will direct a live-action “MASK” film for Paramount and Hasbro, an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.

The movie will be inspired by the 1980s action figures and cartoon.

MASK is the acronym for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, a task force led by Matt Trakker, whose goal is to take out the criminal organization VENOM.

Also Read: More ‘Transformers’ and ‘GI Joe’ Movies as Paramount, Hasbro Ink 5-Year Deal

“MASK” will be produced by Hasbro, and Gray. They are currently out to writers for takes on a contemporary subculture movie with a youth empowerment angle.

Hasbro recently hired Greg Mooradian as president of Allspark Pictures, with responsibility for live action film and television. Allspark Animation, the company’s label for animated film and television content, is led by Hasbro’s Meghan McCarthy.

Also Read: Lionsgate Won’t Be Hasbro’s New Toy: Takeover Talks End

Gray is also in talks to direct Sony’s planned fourth installment of the “Men In Black” series, individuals with knowledge of the film confirmed to TheWrap.

Gray is represented by United Talent Agency, Principato-Young Entertainment, and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.

Deadline first reported the news.

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F. Gary Gray will direct a live-action “MASK” film for Paramount and Hasbro, an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.

The movie will be inspired by the 1980s action figures and cartoon.

MASK is the acronym for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, a task force led by Matt Trakker, whose goal is to take out the criminal organization VENOM.

“MASK” will be produced by Hasbro, and Gray. They are currently out to writers for takes on a contemporary subculture movie with a youth empowerment angle.

Hasbro recently hired Greg Mooradian as president of Allspark Pictures, with responsibility for live action film and television. Allspark Animation, the company’s label for animated film and television content, is led by Hasbro’s Meghan McCarthy.

Gray is also in talks to direct Sony’s planned fourth installment of the “Men In Black” series, individuals with knowledge of the film confirmed to TheWrap.

Gray is represented by United Talent Agency, Principato-Young Entertainment, and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.

Deadline first reported the news.

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F. Gary Gray in Talks to Join 'Men In Black' Revamp as Director

F. Gary Gray Confirms He Will Direct 'Fast and Furious 8' for Universal

John Singleton Drama 'Rebel,' Gary Owen Reality Series Set at BET

Original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter in Talks to Join Film Sequel

Lynda Carter, who portrayed the iconic character of “Wonder Woman” in the 1970s TV series, is in talks to join the film’s sequel.

During an interview Wednesday on NBC’s Today with Megyn Kelly, Carter confirmed that she has been talking to director Patty Jenkins about appearing in the “Wonder Woman” sequel. An individual with knowledge of the project corroborated her on-air statement to TheWrap.

“That is up to Patty Jenkins. I’ve been talking to her about it,” said Carter. “She’s given me some hints about it and I guess it’s up to Warner Bros if they want to spend the money … It really is up to Patty, and if it works in an organic way it’ll be great fun and it’ll be wonderful to do.”

Also Read: ‘Wonder Woman 2:’ ‘Narcos’ Star Pedro Pascal Joins Cast

TheWrap has confirmed that, like “Wonder Woman,” “Wonder Woman 2” will be a period piece, with Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) facing off against the Soviet Union during the 1980s.

Other details, including which characters from Wonder Woman lore may appear have not been revealed, but it’s notable that WB still has an option for Chris Pine, who played love interest Steve Trevor. Given that (spoiler alert!) Trevor dies during the events of “Wonder Woman,” bringing him back might be a stretch, but then again, the world in which it takes place features living gods from Greek mythology.

The film is slated for release on Dec. 13, 2019.

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Lynda Carter, who portrayed the iconic character of “Wonder Woman” in the 1970s TV series, is in talks to join the film’s sequel.

During an interview Wednesday on NBC’s Today with Megyn Kelly, Carter confirmed that she has been talking to director Patty Jenkins about appearing in the “Wonder Woman” sequel. An individual with knowledge of the project corroborated her on-air statement to TheWrap.

“That is up to Patty Jenkins. I’ve been talking to her about it,” said Carter. “She’s given me some hints about it and I guess it’s up to Warner Bros if they want to spend the money … It really is up to Patty, and if it works in an organic way it’ll be great fun and it’ll be wonderful to do.”

TheWrap has confirmed that, like “Wonder Woman,” “Wonder Woman 2” will be a period piece, with Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) facing off against the Soviet Union during the 1980s.

Other details, including which characters from Wonder Woman lore may appear have not been revealed, but it’s notable that WB still has an option for Chris Pine, who played love interest Steve Trevor. Given that (spoiler alert!) Trevor dies during the events of “Wonder Woman,” bringing him back might be a stretch, but then again, the world in which it takes place features living gods from Greek mythology.

The film is slated for release on Dec. 13, 2019.

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‘xXx 4’ in Works With Vin Diesel to Star, DJ Caruso Back as Director

Production on Vin Deisel’s fourth installment of “xXx” is slated to go into production this December as DJ Caruso also returns as director, it was announced Tuesday.

Diesel and The H Collective have also purchased full franchise rights from Revolution Studios. Revolution Studios retains its rights to the first three films.

Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum will produce with Diesel, Samantha Vincent for One Race Films and The H Collective.

Also Read: ‘xXx 4’ to Lead Slate of New Movie Production, Financing Firm The H Collective

The “xXx” franchise, which includes “xXx,” “xXx: State of the Union,” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” has collectively grossed nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box-office.

The H Collective CEO Nic Crawley said: “During my time at Paramount I was lucky to be involved in the development and distribution of xXx: Return of Xander Cage. The response from the Chinese box office was unprecedented. Bringing the next installment of the xXx franchise to The H Collective complements our diversified slate and mission to produce content for a global audience.”

Diesel has starred in and produced the five highest-grossing films in the massively successful “Fast” franchise. He voices ‘Groot’ in both the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films and will also appear in Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” this April.

Also Read: ‘XXX’ Director Rob Cohen Sets Female Superhero Film ‘Razor’ as Next Project

Caruso directed the franchise’s previous installment “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” and is best known for his work on DreamWork’s thriller “Eagle Eye” starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan, as well as “I am Number Four” for Touchstone Pictures and “Disturbia” for Paramount. His TV credits include “The Shield” for FX which earned two Golden Globe wins.

The H Collective, who will finance “xXx 4” alongside investment partners including Sparkle Roll Media, HCH Media, Dadi Cinema, and Angeleno Studio, is currently in production on an Untitled Horror Feature produced by James Gunn starring Elizabeth Banks and is also in post-production on Christopher Cantwell’s “The Parts You Lose.”

Diesel is represented by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Caruso is represented by CAA and Media Talent Group.

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Production on Vin Deisel’s fourth installment of “xXx” is slated to go into production this December as DJ Caruso also returns as director, it was announced Tuesday.

Diesel and The H Collective have also purchased full franchise rights from Revolution Studios. Revolution Studios retains its rights to the first three films.

Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum will produce with Diesel, Samantha Vincent for One Race Films and The H Collective.

The “xXx” franchise, which includes “xXx,” “xXx: State of the Union,” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” has collectively grossed nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box-office.

The H Collective CEO Nic Crawley said: “During my time at Paramount I was lucky to be involved in the development and distribution of xXx: Return of Xander Cage. The response from the Chinese box office was unprecedented. Bringing the next installment of the xXx franchise to The H Collective complements our diversified slate and mission to produce content for a global audience.”

Diesel has starred in and produced the five highest-grossing films in the massively successful “Fast” franchise. He voices ‘Groot’ in both the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films and will also appear in Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” this April.

Caruso directed the franchise’s previous installment “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” and is best known for his work on DreamWork’s thriller “Eagle Eye” starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan, as well as “I am Number Four” for Touchstone Pictures and “Disturbia” for Paramount. His TV credits include “The Shield” for FX which earned two Golden Globe wins.

The H Collective, who will finance “xXx 4” alongside investment partners including Sparkle Roll Media, HCH Media, Dadi Cinema, and Angeleno Studio, is currently in production on an Untitled Horror Feature produced by James Gunn starring Elizabeth Banks and is also in post-production on Christopher Cantwell’s “The Parts You Lose.”

Diesel is represented by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Caruso is represented by CAA and Media Talent Group.

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Steven Spielberg Joins DC Universe With ‘Blackhawk’ Movie

Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment are again teaming up with Warner Bros. Pictures to produce the action adventure “Blackhawk,” based on the DC Comics series of the same name.

Spielberg also has an eye on directing the movie, Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said in a Tuesday announcement.

The move comes on the heels of “Ready Player One,” also a Spielberg-Amblin-Warner Bros. collaboration, and marks the filmmaker’s first feature centered on DC characters.

Blackhawk is the leader of a small team of ace pilots who fight tyranny and oppression — including Axis powers as well as various supervillains –while operating from a hidden base known only as “Blackhawk Island.” The comic book debuted in 1941 and features team members from around the world, with Blackhawk himself generally portrayed as a Polish freedom fighter.

Blackhawk was created by comics legends Chuck Cuidera, Bob Powell and Will Eisner for Quality Comics. The characters and concepts were sold to DC after Quality ceased publications in 1956.

“We are so proud to be the studio behind Steven Spielberg’s latest hit, and are thrilled to be working with him again on this new action adventure,” said Emmerich on Tuesday. “We can’t wait to see what new ground he will break in introducing ‘Blackhawk’ to movie audiences worldwide.”

Also Read: Cathy Yan in Early Talks to Direct Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn Movie

The screenplay for “Blackhawk” is being written by David Koepp, who has collaborated with Spielberg on the blockbusters “Jurassic Park,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “War of the Worlds” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

Spielberg will produce the film along with Kristie Macosko Krieger, under the Amblin Entertainment banner, while Sue Kroll will executive produce, under her Kroll & Co. Entertainment shingle.

“It was wonderful working with the team at Warner Bros. to bring ‘Ready Player One’ to the screen,” said Spielberg, adding, “They bring a blend of passion and professionalism to everything they do and have a tremendous history in this genre. I am excited to reunite with them on ‘Blackhawk.’”

Spielberg’s next two films are the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise and “West Side Story.”

“Blackhawk” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment are again teaming up with Warner Bros. Pictures to produce the action adventure “Blackhawk,” based on the DC Comics series of the same name.

Spielberg also has an eye on directing the movie, Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said in a Tuesday announcement.

The move comes on the heels of “Ready Player One,” also a Spielberg-Amblin-Warner Bros. collaboration, and marks the filmmaker’s first feature centered on DC characters.

Blackhawk is the leader of a small team of ace pilots who fight tyranny and oppression — including Axis powers as well as various supervillains –while operating from a hidden base known only as “Blackhawk Island.” The comic book debuted in 1941 and features team members from around the world, with Blackhawk himself generally portrayed as a Polish freedom fighter.

Blackhawk was created by comics legends Chuck Cuidera, Bob Powell and Will Eisner for Quality Comics. The characters and concepts were sold to DC after Quality ceased publications in 1956.

“We are so proud to be the studio behind Steven Spielberg’s latest hit, and are thrilled to be working with him again on this new action adventure,” said Emmerich on Tuesday. “We can’t wait to see what new ground he will break in introducing ‘Blackhawk’ to movie audiences worldwide.”

The screenplay for “Blackhawk” is being written by David Koepp, who has collaborated with Spielberg on the blockbusters “Jurassic Park,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “War of the Worlds” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

Spielberg will produce the film along with Kristie Macosko Krieger, under the Amblin Entertainment banner, while Sue Kroll will executive produce, under her Kroll & Co. Entertainment shingle.

“It was wonderful working with the team at Warner Bros. to bring ‘Ready Player One’ to the screen,” said Spielberg, adding, “They bring a blend of passion and professionalism to everything they do and have a tremendous history in this genre. I am excited to reunite with them on ‘Blackhawk.'”

Spielberg’s next two films are the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise and “West Side Story.”

“Blackhawk” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Shazam' Star Zachary Levi Silences Body Shaming Critics; Posts Shirtless Pic

America's Least-Liked TV Media Personality Is …

I'm an Asian American Actor Who Went to China Before Hollywood Would Cast Me as a Lead (Guest Blog)

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